Writer director Tim Kirman has made an intimate, intelligent love story in LAZY EYE, about L.A. graphic designer Dean, who reconnects with Alex, a former love he hasn’t seen in over a decade. They spend the weekend together in the desert, and things go well, but then, as the middle-aged are want to do, they look back at decisions they made in the past that led them to this fateful moment in time. Is the one who “got away” really the one you want in the end?
Director Kirman, who is best known for his acclaimed documentary DEAR JESSE, has stated that the BEFORE SUNRISE/SUNSET/MIDNIGHT films were a major influence on LAZY EYE, in showcasing complex characters who “enjoy talking and listening to each other – and taking breaks to have sex, of course.” LAZY EYE succeeds in maintaining audience interest for 90 minutes despite its focus on two normal gay Americans spending time together without engaging in bank robberies, murder, or encounters with U.F.O.s. The leads, Lucas Near-Verbrugghe and Aaron Costa Ganis, are naturalistic and the emotional sophistication of the project overcomes the budgetary limitations, as the filmmakers make good use of its Mojave desert locations; the film has a clear, stark and elegant style. Anyone of any sexual persuasion who has moments of self-doubt, regret and longing will be able to connect with the film, as Kirman has a firsthand lucid style that makes you feel he knows these characters and what makes them tick intimately . While love may not make the miracles we need, these authentic, flawed characters do remind us that the best chance for the human race is its need for genuine emotional connection, even if a happy ending is far from guaranteed. LAZY EYE may be a little too contained, too real (meaning non-melodramatic) in its concerns for some audiences, but I’m very glad to have made its acquaintance.
A DVD with an extended cut and director’s commentary is now available via Amazon, and the film is available for streaming and online purchase as well.